Posts tagged ‘Steve Begin’

March 15, 2009

SHR +/- 3/14/09 (DAL vs MIN)

by Kristine

Nicklas Grossman: three for the goal, one for being so excited to score it, one for catching Robi’s flying leap into his arms, but minus-one for the PK issues that led to the Wild’s PPG; +4

Stephane Robidas: one for playing a team-high 27:26 and still ending the game +2, one for tying most SOG with four, and one for the flying leap into Grossman’s arms; +3

Trevor Daley: two for having a great defensive game; +2

Mike Modano:
one for coming out with his skates on fire and one for yet again forgetting he’s supposed to be “old”; +2

Brendan Morrison:
one for winning all four of his faceoffs since that’s what he’s supposed to be good at and one for making such an effort to fit in with the team; +2

James Neal:
one for showing that he’s still a big puck-pursuing puppy with four takeaways; +1

Brian Sutherby:
one for tying most hits with five; +1

Loui Eriksson:
two for each assist and one for being aware of where his linemates are at all times; +7

Landon Wilson:
one for hard work and a good game; +1

Chris Conner:
one for hard work and a good game; +1

Mark Fistric:
minus-one for the unneccessary penalty; -1

Steve Ott:
three for each goal and one for tying most SOG with four; +7

Marty Turco:
two for giving up nothing but the post in the third but minus one for not locking it down earlier; +1

Joel Lundqvist:
minus-one for doing basically nothing at a time when he should be trying to prove his worth to the team; -1

Steve Begin:
one for tying most hits with five; +1

Mike Ribeiro:
two for each assist, one for tying his career high with a seven-game point streak, and one for winning 61% of his faceoffs, including the one that sent Grossman his game-winner; +6

Advertisements
March 13, 2009

Game Review – 3/12/09 (DAL vs CAR)

by Chelsea

Game:

The Carolina Hurricanes (and ex-Star Jussi Jokinen) were coming into Dallas on what could have been a record-breaking night. The Stars, in their loss to Montreal, tied the franchise record from 1970 for most losses in a row on home ice. A loss to the ‘Canes would have set a new record. It also would have been the first time that the Hurricane franchise managed a win in Dallas since they moved to Carolina.

All that considered, the Mo-Show picked a good night to take their previous public criticism to heart. Morrison and Modano, coupled with rookie James Neal, came off the bench for the first time looking energetic and determined. As a Stars fan, it was just a good feeling to see Modano play with that kind of fire again. 

As that line started clicking, the top line of Ott-Ribeiro-Eriksson looked almost more relaxed and less frantic, finishing the game with a combined 6 shots on goal and 5 takeaways. It was that line that scored, albeit somewhat accidentally, Dallas’ first goal of the game.

In the first period, Carolina came in and scored a painful shorthanded goal against the Stars (only the second given up all season) when Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour broke out 2-on-1 with Ribeiro defending. Ribeiro did his best, but ended up sliding into Turco in an attempt to block a pass, and they scored. 

Ribeiro made up for it at the beginning of the second when he did his best to pass the puck to Loui Eriksson and ended up sending it into Carolina’s net off Tim Gleason’s skate. It was the kind of luck that a team needs to get every now and then, that reminds them that nothing is impossible. As Tippett said, it’s the kind of a luck a team makes for themselves through hard work. Like a reward for sticking with the fight when nobody would have blamed them for letting the season’s adversities take them down, suddenly luck was on their side again.

Suddenly secondary scoring was back. The fourth line of Barch-Bégin-Conner had been applying heavy pressure with an effective combination of speed and tenacity, and they were also rewarded. Barely five minutes after Ribeiro’s goal, Conner put a shot on net that Ward stopped, but lead to a scramble for a loose puck. Bégin fought for the puck, resembling something like a rabid dog, knocking ‘Canes out of his way and popping the puck over the overwhelmed netminder. It was his first goal and point as a Star.

The Modano line, as mentioned above, was firing on all cylinders for the first time since being called out publicly by their head coach. While Neal recently did manage to recall his brain from Montreal, where it stayed after the All-Star break, it was Modano and Morrison that pulled together to score what would become the game-winning goal.

Though Morrison was always pleasant in interviews, his play on the ice did nothing for us except explain why he’d been put on waivers in the first place. However, he displayed an impressive amount of skill to pull off a precision deflection of a blazing Modano shot to put the puck in the net behind Ward for the third time in less than ten minutes. It was also his first goal and point as a Star.

With the Stars holding on to a 3-1 lead, the Hurricanes picked up the pace. Luck stepped in again, as two of their shots rang off the Dallas posts, including one that hit the inside of the post and yet bounced straight out of the net. Turco struggled a bit to keep up with the force that became the Hurricanes, but was aided not only by his posts, but by the ‘Canes themselves as they continually missed the net on golden opportunities.

This carried over into the third period, and Turco began making some sharp saves to hold on to the Dallas lead. It took a pair of penalties from the Stars (d’oh! moments from Fistric and Daley that lead to nearly four minutes of continual PK time for their team) for Carolina to wear them down enough to put another one past Turco.

Ray Whitney’s goal, at 13:45, was the last one they got. Despite the Hurricanes going empty net with a minute to go, the Stars hung in and protected their lead. For the first time in weeks, the Dallas crowd was witness to a win from the home team. 

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Bégin, Ribeiro, Staal
  • Our game stars, in order: Modano, Ribeiro, Bégin
  • Matt Niskanen led the team in shots on goal with 4.
  • Bégin led in hits with 7. Robidas was second with 6.
  • Trevor Daley led in blocked shots with 4.
  • Conclusion: The Stars got points from three separate lines, including the ones they count on the most and one that really stepped up. While the final stretch of the season is going to be hard-fought, if they can keep up that kind of effort and regain some healthy bodies, the playoffs are definitely not out of reach.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist and one for maybe being the best PK’er for the Stars; +3
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for an all-around strong game; +3
Trevor Daley: one for leading in blocked shots but minus-one for the boneheaded penalty; +0
Mike Modano: two for the assist and one for a great game; +3
Brandon Morrison: three for the goal and one for finally being an impact player; +4
Krys Barch: one for a good game; +1
James Neal: one for leading the team in takeaways; +1
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and one for that hugely entertaining BaD segment that distracted me mid-review; +3
Landon Wilson: one for a good game; +1
Chris Conner: two for the assist; +2
Mark Fistric: one for a good game; +1
Marty Turco: one for a good game; +1
Steve Bégin: three for the goal and one for perseverance; +4
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3

Honorary points to Jussi Jokinen and Turco’s post.

March 10, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Welcome to the return of PRRU. I skipped last week due to the excitement of the trade deadline, and a lot has happened between the last one, on February 24, and this round. Petersen was placed on IR, we acquired Steve Begin from Montreal, Ott got mugged and suspended, we went on a five-game losing streak at home, we snagged Brendan Morrison off waivers from the Ducks, and Landon Wilson returned from his shoulder injury. Looking at that laundry list, it will be interesting to see how our rankings have changed. I’ll be noting not only where we are this week compared to last week, but where we were for my last PRRU post (pre-trade deadline).

Actual rank: 19th in league; 9th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 31-27-8. L10: 3-6-1.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 18 this week; 21 last week; 11 pre-deadline. “Stars’ come off solid 2-0-1 road trip by losing to Montreal to extend their home losing streak to six games.”
Of Note: Nashville Predators at 16 this week; 18 last week. “The Predators’ six-game winning streak ends with a 4-1 loss in Philadelphia. Nashville with a 12-5 edge in third period goals over their last eight games. “
My thoughts: See what losing six straight home games will do? Bump you down on EVERY list – including power rankings and playoff contenders and actual league rankings. What good does a solid 5-of-6-points road trip do when you can’t win a home game? If anything, the back and forth and lack of consistency is dooming the team to missing both the playoffs and a decent draft pick. In the mean time, while the Stars are busy losing, the Preds have been busy winning. They currently sit above the Stars in the 8th seed in the West and seem to be making a hard last-hour push. Are they the Stars’ biggest competition right now? I might say yes if I didn’t believe that the Stars’ biggest competition is themselves.

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 21 this week; 20 last week; 11 pre-deadline. “There’s no place like the road for the Dallas Stars? They matched a franchise record with their sixth consecutive home loss in Sunday’s 3-1 decision versus the Canadiens. Last time that happened? 1970.”
Of Note: Anaheim Ducks at 20 this week; 15 last week. “Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer are still in town, Travis Moen and Kent Huskins are not, and the Ducks seem to be slowly falling further out of playoff contention.
My thoughts: It’s no secret that I hate the Ducks. Their players are dirty and they’re just mediocre enough that I can’t respect them for their talent. So to hear that people consider them to be falling further out of playoff contention makes me happy until I realize that their L10 of 3-6-1 is exactly the same as our L10. Ouch. Going by that, if they’re falling out of playoff contention, so are we. ESPN touches on the fact that our six home losses is good for worst home losing streak since the Stars moved to Dallas. It amazes me, honestly, that anyone can still consider us playoff contenders when we’ve been on the worse side of inconsistent since the end of our five game winning streak at the end of January. Take a look at the last 20 games, which starts in the middle of said winning streak: W W W L W W L W L W W L L L L L W O W L. Can you imagine if you condensed that into a seven-game playoff series? Winning every other game won’t get you very far into the playoffs in that scenario, depending on if your series went W L W L W L W or L W L W L W L. Playing all seven games of every round would exhaust even the best teams. The Stars are going to have to find a way to win more than two games in a row soon if they want to even think about beating other teams in the post-season.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 22 this week;  25 last week; 13 pre-deadline. “Just seem to be sucking fumes these days.
Of Note: St Louis Blues at 19 this week; 14 last week. “Not dealing Keith Tkachuk shows St. Louis believes it can make the playoffs now.
My thoughts: I think THN sums it up well. It’s not the most insightful comment that could be made, but it’s true. The Stars seem to be running on empty lately. They’ll pull out a game or two here and there that will give everyone hope, and then it’s back to sloppy hockey (see: Anaheim, Montreal games). Sometimes they only manage a period or two of good hockey before sputtering out. Is it the result of playing with a playoff mindset for the entire last half of the season? Is the injury situation finally hitting home and wearing them out? Speculate all day if you want to, but I agree with the person who said we should change our motto to “Our Team, Next Time.” Obviously something just isn’t clicking this season, but the parts are all there and ready to work together next season. In the meantime, the Blues are hanging out at the bottom of the playoff race with 66 points. They’re 6-3-1 in their L10 and their next game? A home game against the Stars tonight. We lost to them 3-1 two weeks ago as part of our dismal homestand, and with them pushing for that 8th seed, it’s going to be a tough match-up.

TSN
Stars: 22 this week;  22 last week; 19 pre-deadline. “Grabbing Brendan Morrison off the waiver wire isn’t exactly making a big push for the postseason, but he’s a serviceable stopgap on the Stars’ decimated forward ranks. Key Injuries: C Brad Richards (wrist), RW Jere Lehtinen (upper body).
Of Note: Phoenix Coyotes at 28 this week; 28 last week. “In the grand scheme of things, the Coyotes aren’t necessarily much worse off without Olli Jokinen, Daniel Carcillo, Derek Morris and Mikael Tellqvist, but they’re on a streak of six straight games in which they haven’t scored more than two goals, so it’s hard to say they’re better. Key Injuries: None.
My thoughts: You can add “Fabulous Fabian” Brunnstrom to that list of key injuries, as I consider him to be an important cog in the duct-taped machine that is the Stars this season. I’m disappointed in the lack of impact Morrison has had so far; the only thing he’s really done has been to center Neal and Brunnstrom, which was not nearly as fiery as when Sutherby centered it. However, like TSN points out, he’s a body, and we’re short on those right now. It’s also important to note that no matter how bad we are, we still aren’t the Yotes! Our franchise is firmly planted here in Dallas, and we’re in the 9th seed and not the Coyotes’ 14th. As far as division rivals go, the Coyotes may have our number this season, but we seem to be the only team they can beat right now.

As always, what do you agree or disagree with? I’d love this series to be an open forum for you guys to share your thoughts on where the Stars are at and how they’ve been playing, so please feel free to comment.

March 4, 2009

SHR +/- for 3/03/09 (DAL at SJS)

by Chelsea

Stars finally won one of those games where they play the Sharks and really outplay them but usually end up losing anyway, and they won it 4-1. Congrats to them for finally looking like the team that removed the Sharks from the playoffs last spring, even if technically they’re barely that team at all.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: minus-one for catching the penalty bug from Daley; -1
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley: one for leading in blocked shots with four; +1
Mike Modano: three for the goal and two for the assist but minus-one for losing so many faceoffs; +4
Krys Barch: one for the fight; +1
James Neal: three for each goal; +6
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for centering the most productive line we’ve seen since Ribeiro’s line was ripping it up; +6
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: two welcome-back-from-suspension points; +2
Marty Turco: two for the assist, two for showing us he’s not actually slumping again but minus-one for scaring us with some close calls anyway; +3
Steve Bégin: two for leading in hits with nine; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist and one for ticking off all the Ducks and drawing penalties; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for each assist and one for showing why he shouldn’t be benched; +5